Why Are They Called Booties? When the water’s cold, we all dress up like babies.


While out surfing the other day, I came down with a bad case

of woodfoot. I kept getting colder and colder, until I truly felt like a

human head perched atop the shoulders of a mannequin. I struggled

to the beach, where I was met by a friend who admitted he too had a

harsh case of woodfoot, but his was accentuated with a side order of

oaktoe. My friend and I aren’t Navy Seals, but we aren’t infants,

either (meaning we aren’t particularly wusses or badasses). We

decided as a team we were going to invest in a pair of booties each,

thus avoiding future occurrences of woodfoot and woodfoot-related


We ventured into a surfing accessory shop and checked out

the lineup of booties. Just then it struck me—why are they called

booties? It’s such a lame name. They should be called footsuits or

suitfeet. “Booties” sounds like something babies wear. This train of

thought led me to another question—why aren’t they just be called

boots? “Boots” sounds cool, like something motorcycle gangs and

pirates wear. I came back to the surf shop ten minutes later holding

a sign that read, “Booties are for babies, boots are for badasses.” I

picketed the shop for three hours until they closed for the night. I

think they got the message, though.

Join me in this fight! Next time you go into a surf shop, ask to try on a pair of suitfeet or boots. When the kid behind the counter says, “Don’t you mean booties?” say, “No. I mean surf boots, brah.” The clerk will think you’re rad, and inside your heart, you’ll know you are, too.—C.C.

Caption: The sun is shining, but the whip of winter water in Central California has forced Josh Mulcoy’s feet into his boots—not booties. Photo: Nelly